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Luscious Lemon Bars

They’re tart, sweet, crisp and creamy. These luscious lemon bars are all of the above. . .and then some!

Fresh, Fruity Dessert Bars

I’m crazy about fruit-flavored baked goods. Don’t believe me? Check out my Yummy Blackberry Cobbler. Or my Lemon Burst Cookies. Or my Strawberry Lemon Creme Scones.

Any time I can squeeze fruit into the recipe, I do it! (Have you read my Baking with Bananas posts? I’m kind of obsessed with fruit!)

For the longest time I’ve been looking for a great lemon bar recipe. I wanted something firm enough to pick up and eat without a fork, but something that still had enough of tender top to give me that luscious lemon bite.

I found both in this recipe. . .and a lot, lot more. You’re going to love these classic lemon bars.

The Perfect Lemon Bar Recipe

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

I’ve made lemon bars in the past but it’s been years. I haven’t had the best luck with the shortbread crust on bars, to be honest. But I had a hankering for lemon bars, so I knew I needed to try, at the very least.

So, I did a perusal of the web and landed on The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. Only one problem: Her recipe called for four whole eggs and I only had three.

An egg shortage in my house is a shocking and distressing thing, let me tell you. But I’ve been baking all weekend so it’s not surprising that I found my egg container nearly empty!

At any rate, I decided to tweak her recipe a little, settling for three eggs instead of four. I added a bit more sugar to my filling because the lemony topping seemed a bit too tart for my liking. And I decided to grate my butter instead of cubing it.

All that to say, I made it my own. But it’s still mostly hers, and you can’t go wrong when Ree Drummond is part of the project! (Any other Pioneer Woman lovers in the group?)

And, of course, I had no choice: I had to use one of my favorite Pioneer Woman baking dishes for this project. Perfect, right?

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

LEMON BAR INGREDIENTS

Let’s talk first about what you’ll need to make these luscious lemon bars. No doubt you have a lot of these simple ingredients handy in your pantry or refrigerator. The full printable recipe card is at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need:

FOR THE CRUST:

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • flour
  • sugar
  • cold salted butter
  • salt

FOR THE FILLING

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • lemons (for zest and juice)
  • sugar
  • flour
  • eggs

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • Powdered sugar for dusting

That’s it! Pretty simple stuff, really. I happened to have all of these things on hand.

How to Make these Easy Lemon Bars

These came together so quickly and easily, y’all. Truly, the only thing that took any time at all was juicing the lemons. (I really need to invest in a lemon juicer. I can’t tell you how many times those slippery little devils shot out of my hands and tried to go flying across the kitchen.)

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Butter your baking dish. You can use a 9 x 13 or slightly smaller if you want a thicker crust.

To make the Crust:

Whisk together all dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Grate cold butter and add to the dry ingredients.

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Work together with pastry cutter/pastry blender (or in mixer) until it’s crumb-like in consistency.

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place in buttered dish in an even layer and bake crust for 20 minutes. (You could line your buttered dish with parchment paper if you like. I didn’t have any trouble getting my bars out of the buttered pan, but parchment paper assures easy lift.)

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

To make the Filling:

While the crust is baking, make the filling for your luscious lemon squares.

Zest and juice all four lemons. Set aside.

Combine dry ingredients (whisking together sugar and flour) in a large bowl.

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Add eggs. Stir until creamy. (There’s no need to use an electric mixer for this! A whisk will work just fine.)

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

It’s time to add your lemon zest and lemon juice. (There’s nothing better than fresh lemon juice.)

Work it in until the lemon mixture is rich and smooth. I gave thought to adding a couple dots of yellow food color but decided against it. In the end I was glad! I didn’t want it to look artificial.

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Pour batter over hot crust and place back in the oven for an additional 20 minutes.

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Now for the hard part. You have to let these lemon bars cool down before you sprinkle them with powdered sugar. This is going to take awhile. You probably have enough time to watch that movie you’ve been dying to see.

But, seriously. Two hours. That’s how long Ree suggests waiting.

Honestly? I didn’t think I was going to make it. I wanted these. . .and I wanted them right away.

At the end of the cooling period sprinkle the lemon bars with icing sugar and cut with a sharp knife or bench scraper into squares. How big and how many? I opted for 20. The size was perfect!

How to Store Lemon Bars

These are best if refrigerated. Place them in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. They will keep for 3-4 days. These bar can be frozen, if you prefer. I wouldn’t attempt to keep them more than a couple of months in the freezer (in an airtight container).

See this recipe at

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What to Expect from These Luscious Lemon Bars

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

I hardly know where to begin! This is the perfect lemon dessert. It’s truly one of my favorite recipes I’ve made in ages (and that’s saying a lot)! I’m so glad I opted not to add the dot of yellow food coloring! I wanted that bright lemon color to look natural and it does!

These are cookie-like in texture. Instead of the pudding-like lemony top (which is fine in its own right) this version has a luscious, gooey “bite” that you won’t soon forget! The luscious lemon filling reminds me a bit of a good lemon curd, but with a light, crisp top.

In a word, these are perfect. The sweetness of the powdered sugar, the tart of the lemon, the tender, flaky crust. . .all of these combined will make you swoon!

These would be great for a women’s event, a baby shower, a wedding shower. . .or a simple family dessert.

Variations on these Easy Lemon Bars

This is a simple recipe and it’s perfect just like it is–from the tender flaky crust to the gooey lemon filling! That said, there are always ways to change things up, if you’re so inclined. Here are some things I might try next time:

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com
  • Limes. If you’re out of lemons, don’t fret! You can make this very same recipe using lime juice. (I might try this next time.)
  • Orange. I confess, I haven’t tried this one, but I would imagine you can make this same recipe using orange juice and zest in place of lemon or lime.
  • Chocolate. Skip the fruit and add chocolate to the egg and sugar mixture on top.
  • Pecans. Looking for pecan bars? Add chopped pecans and use brown sugar on top of this tender crust.
  • Almond. Substitute some of the all purpose flour with almond flour and add sliced almonds to the top before baking.

Other Lemony Favorites from Out of the Box Baking

Enjoy some of these sweet lemon treats from Out of the Box Baking!

That’s it for this post, y’all! I hope you enjoyed this new recipe. (Well, new to me, anyway!)

Before we part ways, enjoy this funny quote:

Luscious Lemon Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com
Luscious Lemon Bars

Luscious Lemon Bars

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

They're tart, sweet, crisp and creamy. These luscious lemon bars are all of the above. . .and then some!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold salted butter
  • pinch salt
  • FOR THE FILLING
  • 4 lemons (zested and juiced)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • FOR THE TOPPING:
  • * Powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

    How to Make these Easy Lemon Bars

These came together so quickly and easily, y'all. Truly, the only thing that took any time at all was juicing the lemons. (I really need to invest in a lemon juicer. I can't tell you how many times those slippery little devils shot out of my hands and tried to go flying across the kitchen.

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Butter your baking dish. You can use a 9 x 13 or slightly smaller if you want a thicker crust.

To make the Crust:

Whisk together all dry ingredients.

Grate butter and add to the dry ingredients.

Work together with pastry cutter (or in mixer) until it's crumb-like in consistency.

Place in buttered dish and bake for 20 minutes.

To make the Filling:

While the crust is baking, make your filling.

Zest and juice all four lemons. Set aside.

Combine dry ingredients (whisking together sugar and flour), then add eggs.

Stir until creamy.

It's time to add your zest and lemon juice. Work it in until rich and smooth.

Pour over crust and place back in the oven for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.

Now for the hard part. You have to let these lemon bars cool down before you sprinkle them with powdered sugar. This is going to take awhile. You probably have enough time to watch that movie you've been dying to see.

But, seriously. Two hours. That's how long Ree suggests waiting.

Honestly? I didn't think I was going to make it. I wanted these. . .and I wanted them right away.

At the end of the cooling period sprinkle the lemon bars with powdered sugar and cut into squares.

Depression-Era Baking: Think Like Your Grandmother - Out of the Box Baking

Monday 22nd of August 2022

[…] Luscious Lemon Bars: Easy and sweet, these bars have a luscious shortbread crust guaranteed to make you swoon. […]

Jeannie

Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

Looks delicious. I love your Diet Day 1 but there are no black jelly beans there. ????

Suzanne

Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

Do you know if I could use coconut oil or something else in place of butter? I'm dairy-free. I think I can get away with gluten-free flour.

booksbyjanice

Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

I think that should be fine. Let me know how it turns out!

stacy harvey

Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

These are great recipes. Love them and how simple it is to have homemade!

Averett Donna

Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

I just might try these today. Thanks for the recipe.

booksbyjanice

Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

Awesome!

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